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Vice-Chancellor’s Christmas Message to Students and Staff

We now approach not just the end of another year, but the end of Warwick’s 50th anniversary year. I want to take this opportunity to not just to thank all of our current students and staff for all that they have contributed to this outstanding twelve months but equally to thank all of those who have been part of Warwick’s 50 year long success story. It has been fascinating to listen to some of the interviews with longstanding staff and former staff and students in the Voices of the University oral history project and I would encourage you all to explore our new aural archive.

This has been a truly outstanding year for Warwick. The Times and Sunday Times declared Warwick to be its University of the year for 2014/ 2015 and Warwick is now in the top 100 of every major university world ranking. This is Warwick’s best ever result in the history of the three main league tables. We leapt 23 places to be ranked 80th in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The QS annual World University Rankings named Warwick as one of the world’s top 50 universities as we rose 13 places to be ranked 48th overall, and in August the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked Warwick 92nd in the world, a jump of 96 places.

Space precludes me from listing the great many achievements of Warwick’s individual departments but we really must note Mathematics and Statistics winning a Queens Anniversary Prize for Research, the Economist ranking Warwick Business School’s full-time MBA as the best in the UK, and, just last week, Professor Maureen Freely in English and Comparative Literary Studies winning the Modern Language Association Lois Roth Award with her co-translator Alexander Dawe.

If you want to explore the multiple achievements of our students and staff and closest partnerships do please take time to look through our festive calendar that re-shares 24 of those stories.

This of course will be my last Christmas message to Students and Staff as your Vice-Chancellor, it has been a privilege to work with you all to help build and shape the internationally renowned institution that our university has now become. Of course, in a very literal sense, that building and shaping continues with the construction of both the National Automotive Innovation Centre, a vision of WMG’s Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya now currently under construction, and Warwick’s new Teaching and Learning Building, due to open in 2016, as well as the new conferences Flat Space. I will continue to take a keen interest in how those projects unfold and everything else Warwick does as it embarks on its next 50 years.

Christmas is a time to think about giving back and one of the things that makes me most proud of the University of Warwick is that it has never forgotten that ultimately universities must do good to be worthy of the name. I have just been to visit the Laksh Foundation outside Delhi where every year our students go to teach punishingly poor children. I will remember all kinds of things about Warwick but it will be the way in which our students interact with children like these that most embodies what our University is about.

For now though, may I wish you an enjoyable festive season and good health and happiness in the year ahead.

With best wishes,

Nigel Thrift
Vice-Chancellor and President